Irma rapidly becomes major hurricane in mid-Atlantic

Tropical Storm Irma will be a major hurricane by the time it reaches the Caribbean

Irma has rapidly intensified into a major hurricane (Category 3 or stronger) in the eastern Atlantic Ocean after becoming the fourth hurricane of the 2017 season late Thursday morning.

"Irma is forecast to become a major hurricane by tonight and is expected to be an extremely risky hurricane for the next several days", the Hurricane Center warned in a bulletin.

Forecast tracks have Irma moving on a general westerly track, approaching the Caribbean by early next week.

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Irma had closed to within 1,800 miles of the islands Thursday afternoon.

At this point the storm does not pose any threat to land.

"The hurricane likely to turn westward and west-southwestward over the next few days due to a building ridge over the central Atlantic", said Blake. Often times, tropical systems in this region can gain a good amount of strength as they move across the Atlantic.

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It is too soon to know whether Irma will pose a threat to the US mainland.

After that the forecast track is anywhere from the Gulf of Mexico to staying out in the Atlantic.

The next big hurricane has already formed and this could become a big newsmaker in the 10 days or so.

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Hurricane Irma continues to rapidly intensity and is now a category 3 hurricane with 115 miles per hour winds.


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